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2005 Jul 06 23:26

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latex presentations (Re: [vox] Survey: What do YOU use Linux for?)
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latex presentations (Re: [vox] Survey: What do YOU use Linux for?)

After all this discussion about latex presentations, I'd like to point out the "Latex Beamer" package. Website and direct link to the user's guide are:


About 2 years ago I did a serious survey for latex presentation packages. At the time, Prosper looked the most fancy but a headache to custom configure (note: I didn't really test it too thoroughly). I settled on the simple Foiltex. About a year ago I did another survey and discovered Beamer, which has come rather suddenly to the forefront of latex presentation packages. I honestly don't know how it compares to recent versions of Prosper, but those checking these out for the first time should seriously look at both. The user's guide itself is a beauty; it not only gives a thorough explanation of how to use the package, but it also gives very useful advice for slide preparation in general. Beamer supports animations and slide transitions, by the way.


Norm Matloff wrote:
On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 04:23:17PM -0700, Micah J. Cowan wrote:

On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 03:50:15PM -0700, Norm Matloff wrote:

Actually, this is basically what the packages like Prosper do.  They
exploit the features of PDF, so as to get the slide transition effects
and so on.  And one can play external AVI movies, etc.  I don't know if
it is as fancy and easy to use as Powerpoint for the advanced effects,
but I can at least say that slide transition effects in Prosper is easy,
as I use them all the time.

There is a nice example of Prosper at


Well, in that case, color me corrected!

Although, the PDF you pointed me at didn't seem to have any slide
transition effects that I could observe (dl'd the latest acroread, just
to see). :-(

The transitions are there. There is apparently some problem with the
interaction of your browser and your Acroread. A browser can either run
Acroread (or xpdf or whatever) within the browser itself or externally,
in a separate window. I don't know the details at all (I hope someone
who reads this does), but I suspect your problem is of this sort.

To verify, actually download the PDF file to your local disk, and run
Acroread directly on it. Or run xpdf. I do recommend fullscreen mode
(ctrl-L in Acroread, -fullscreen on the command line for xpdf).

With powerpoint presentations, I've seen bullet-points "swoop" in from
the sides; I'd be really impressed if Prosper lets you do such things. I

I don't think it does.  Prosper defines seven types of transitions.  See
the Prosper tour and docs.  For your convenience, I've placed them in
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/tmp/prosper/ (they're the two PDF files).

The tour shows some tricks that the tour claims are easier in Prosper
than in Powerpoint.

wouldn't be suprised, though--even if it doesn't--if other OSS software
is available that provides those sorts of effects and can generate
presentations from content descriptions (though I would be a bit
surprised if they did it using PDF).

There are in fact a number of other OSS packages which work along the
lines of Prosper.  Some of them even work on DVI files instead of PDF.
If you plug "LaTeX slides" into Google, you should find lots.


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